E8: "Atheism for Lent" - with Elizabeth Colunga

The fun continues from episode 7 in a second conversation with Elizabeth Colunga. On the last episode we talked about meeting at an event called "Theology Beer Camp" this time we discuss "Atheism for Lent." Atheism for lent is an online course created by philosopher, author, and speaker Peter Rollins. It takes place over the 40 days (6 weeks) of Lent. Elizabeth and I were part of a small pop up community that met once a week to discuss the content. It was a crazy experience - I was exposed to many great philosophers and theologians that I have never before been encouraged to explore due to my Evangelical Christian background. From Ludwig Feuerbach to Friedrich Nietzche to Slavoj Žižek it was quite a ride. This course was heavy stuff. It opened my eyes to new lines of thought that were nothing short of paradigm shifting for me.

Peter Rollins uses the term "Pyrotheology" to describe his brand of theology and philosophy. A philosophy of burning down the old structures of religion and dogma that seem to hinder us rather than help us - allowing them to fade away and be replaced with newer more relevant and organic models and beliefs. I suppose it is a bet heretical... but I think the greater question is in the end, will the way we model reality help us a create a more beautiful world? I think that should be our sole aim. The season of "Atheism for Lent" I experienced during the Lenten season of 2018 certainly aided in burning down some the hindrances on my path towards a more beautiful life.

I hope you enjoy the conversation I had with Elizabeth Colunga. It's a good one. If you're interested check out these links if you are interested in learning more about "Atheism for Lent" course or Peter Rollins & "Pyrotheology." Further more in this episode I drop a bunch of quotes I gleaned from the readings laid out in the course, ones that really resonated with me deeply. So before I close it out I'll drop them all below so you can easily find them if were intrigued by any of them.

“God cannot be grasped by the mind. If he could be grasped he would not be God.”

-Evagrius Ponticus

“If therefore my work is negative, irreligious, atheistic, let it be remembered that atheism — at least in the sense of this work — is the secret of religion itself; that religion itself, not indeed on the surface, but fundamentally, not in intention or according to its own supposition, but in its heart, in its essence, believes in nothing else than the truth and divinity of human nature. My only wish is to transform friends of God into friends of man, believers into thinkers, devotees of prayer into devotees of work, candidates for the hereafter into students of the world, Christians who, by their own procession and admission, are "half animal, half angel" into persons, into whole persons... I negate the fantastic hypocracy of theology and religion only in order to affirm the true nature of man.”

-Ludwig Feuerbach- (from “The Essence of Christianity”)

“God is the explanation for the unexplainable which explains nothing because it explains everything without distinction”

-Ludwig Feuerbach- (from “The Essence of Christianity”)

“What are these churches now if they are not the tombs and sepulchers of God?”

-Friedrich Nietzsche- (from his parable “The Madman”)

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